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House Republican leader lays out citizenship possibility for immigrants

Sep 20, 2013

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday said immigrant children brought to the country illegally by their parents should be given an earned path to citizenship, and he endorsed the possibility of providing legal status to adult immigrants in the country illegally by using three avenues already in existing law.

Speaking at a GOP Conference Hispanic Heritage month event, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said children of immigrants not legally in the U.S. could find their way to citizenship by serving in the military, through education and working in specific fields.

Everyone else could use routes that already exist in law: sponsorship by a family member, including a U.S. citizen spouse, or sponsorship by an employer. Using those methods won’t result in all of the 11 million people in the country illegally getting citizenship, but “will be a major solution to the problem if you were able to be legally present in the United States, able to work anywhere you wanted, able to own your own business, able to pay your taxes, travel to your home country and back or any other country you wanted to travel to,” said Goodlatte.

Only 5,000 visas for low-skilled workers are available each year, not enough to have much meaning for those illegally in the country, she said. The law also prevents people who are in the country illegally from being sponsored by their children over 21 years old for citizenship for several years. Those bars to citizenship would have to be changed if people in the country illegally are to take advantage of that route, she said. She questioned Jacoby’s estimate that 7 million immigrants could get citizenship status through legal means...." - To read more about this article, click here for NBC Latino link

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